By: Hannah Davidson
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Within the next week, the American people will be voting to put someone in the position of having supreme executive power. Those who we choose to give this power to will likely alter our daily lives in several ways. While for some our presidential election is nothing but choosing the lesser of the two evils, for others it is a life altering event. When their are people who opt not to vote, or state that it “doesn’t really matter” it makes me nervous for the good of our country. I feel that if we as Americans do not properly educate ourselves, or inform one another of the risks at stake, we may give up our freedoms without even knowing. When it comes to this point in time when we the people give power to a new leader, I suggest that we try to look at it from a different point of view and consider our options more closely. Perhaps even refer to what our country was first founded on.
With the way our nation is beginning to lean, due to people surrendering our rights for the common good and to protect the group, we are simultaneously giving up our natural rights and allowing our government to seize more control over our daily lives. I am personally inclined to believe that our country was not formed for the good of the government, but that the government was formed for the good of the country, in essence it’s people. When looking to the Constitution it is evident that these were like the ideas our founding fathers had when they were declaring independence and writing a new government. The United States is formed on an idea. Not that one person is greater than the other, or that some people have rights and others don’t, but the idea that everyone is given natural rights by God and that no one should be able to alter that. People find comfort in materialistic things. People look to put something above themselves, something that we can look to for an answer. But I fear that giving up our own rights for something that we will no longer have any control over many become a fatal mistake.
Looking at today’s politics it is becoming more common to see our 1st Amendment right, freedom of speech, being infringed upon. It has become very common to hear the phase “political correctness” in everyday conversations. The fear of offending someone when expressing our thoughts and opinions has become so prevalent that it is almost debilitating. Had our founding father’s been as cautious with their words as we are now, the odds of us even having the right to state our own opinions are extremely low. I believe that if we continue to ere on the extreme side of caution we may completely surrender our right to state our own thoughts. Voltaire once stated, “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Whether you believe our government should hold more or less power, I recommend considering it as more than a few people making laws for others to abide by, or something that is put in place and really “doesn’t make a difference.” I propose we try to look at it the same way our founding fathers did. View it with pride and understand, knowing that who we put in office this November may be a life altering event. Our rights are God ordained and if we choose to continue to surrender our rights, they will likely be put in the hands of our new elected president. As JFK famously remarked, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”